HOW TO: Creating Stronger Characters

When creating a story, the characters are obviously the main focus of the story. Wanting to engage the readers with your character(s) is an important factor to getting more readers when new episodes come out, when a well developed character is created, it can get your readers more interested into further reading your story to learn more about your characters. These are not something that you have to add to characters, however they’re things you should take into consideration.

Give your character(s) realistic traits:
I’m gonna start off a little bit vague here, a character should be given realistic traits that readers can relate to in some ways. The readers might want to see at least some humanly relatable traits that can create a nice or bitter relationship with the character, giving a villain some realistic human traits would never hurt your story.

Unless your story specifically revolves around someone who is actually perfect, a realistic story should show character flaws and or fears one way or another. Making them entirely perfect makes it harder to relate to and get attached to, because like all people, they need to have flaws and fears (and several other factors that I’ll eventually cover) to further draw conflict and or a resolution to the story. Flaws and fears play a huge role in relationships and interactions with other characters, emotions (disappointment, sadness, happiness, relieved etc). This can be expressed explicitly through speech or indirectly through character reaction.

For example:

  • A character might show a fear to the dark so they feel relieved that the room is brightly lit up .

Giving characters a known identity is important in identifying them and can play a small or large factor in emotions and perspective. Giving them simple identifications like names, age, place where they live can be their identity. Getting into further details such as race, religious beliefs, level of education, personal relationships etc. is recommended when your story is based off of those things. (Personally I like it when the author adds more details about the character(s), even if it doesn’t play a huge part in the story, it gives more insight.)

For example:

  • A character can disagree and feel mad at someone who pokes fun at their choices or at other’s
  • A character can view a certain type of religious holiday as unimportant because they follow no religion
  • A character can feel confused because their home doesn’t have a certain slang/object.

(Do not take the examples above too seriously)

Giving the character a motivation and goal is what keeps the story going, leading up to the resolution. A goal could be the end point or check point of a story, however there should be a motivation behind why the character wants to reach that goal and not to give up no matter what. The motivation should be a strong and reasonable motivation that impacted the character in a huge way.

For example:

  • The kidnapping of a close friend greatly impacted the character’s emotions, therefore making the character want to save them. The motivation is the friend and the goal is the rescuing.

Happy Places:
When I say happy places, it does not have to be literal. We’ve talked about fear and flaws, but a state of mind or a place where the character can calm down, gather their emotions and think about stuff just adds a relatable trait to them. It can be a memory or object that affects the character in a positive way and calms them down, adding them a place to “retreat” is a good humanly trait. Adding a happy moment also makes the negative moments more impactful to the story.

For example:

  • A character can use the library as a place to “retreat” and calm down
  • A character can use a picture of a good memory to make them feel relaxed knowing that they’re safe or in a better place, making a picture of a bad moment more sad for the character because they’re full of grief that because the moment is gone


Since there are just too many key points, I’ll generalize a few here (feel free comment some)!

Personality: This is to add a feeling or emotion that they feel on an average day, making a reaction of a new event more important and meaningful.
Emotional/physical limits: We all love it when characters push themselves to face their fears, but at a certain point, they need to break down and let it all out, this again, adds a humanly trait that’s relatable.
Redemption: We all hate it when our character(s) screws up, but it gives more meaning to the parts where they are seeking redemption.
Story: Give them a past, present and maybe a glimpse of the future of themselves. Don’t drown your readers into reading too much of the past or future especially though, it can get pretty boring after like 3 episodes of the past.
Uniqueness: We all want our characters to stand out and be special, it can be a combination of different personalities, their fears, their past/present, limits etc, all of these separate your character from the rest.
NOTE: If you haven’t already noticed a pattern, bad traits/moments make good traits/moments more meaningful.


This is SUPER DOPER HELPFUL!!! Bookmarkin!!! :heart:


Omg! Thank you

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Yess! Bookmarked

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What do you think of these ideas and how could I improve

My character (not main) is quite professional in her work police Sargent she forward coming in her told to ensure the job is done right but is also approachable and friendly. I’m attempting to make her seem slightly shy and venerable outside her role due to a past experience from a few years ago. I also want her to seem quite determined not to let it get in the way.

The MC I originally wanted to reflect the reader by giving them emotional options as choices for example hearing bad news about someone they care about and then giving the choice to react emotionally or the hide their feelings. But I think this would be too bland, so instead I’m aiming for someone who is confident and out going but also sweet and very caring towards others.

I have a lot of characters but I’ll just go with them :joy:

  1. Personally, I like the idea of your first character. What is their motivation and goal, though? The character seems overall good, however I did read that they were determined but vulnerable outside of work. So why does that past not affect her work? Is it because of a certain motivation or goal that she just has to get? That’s pretty much up to you, good job though.

  2. I think giving them the choice to express their feelings or hide it is a good option, it can be a choice that effects their interaction with another character. If they generally feel professional, dedicated, kind and confident, add a choice when a big event comes on how they react in front of the characters. They can choose to show it or hide it, it could possibly affect relationships and interactions etc. But in the end, they feel the same way, the character can just think about how confident they’re or express it.

If this does not make sense, uh sorry.

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Thank you for replying:)

The first character doesn’t let her feelings show at work as she doesn’t want people to know her past. This is due to trying to protect someone she cares about and allowing people to know whats truly going on would put her and the people she cares about in danger. At work she feels like a different person as she can hide her true self by separating herself from her personal life. Where as outside of work she hasn’t got that identity and has no role to hide behind
(Does that make sense?)

I get what you mean about how the reader reacts changes the out comes and relationships :slight_smile:

Ah, alright. Other than that, I think your character is pretty good (and pretty developed considering that they aren’t the main character)


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